On February 20th, 2019, EPRINC hosted a workshop on U.S. Transportation Fuels Policy at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, D.C. The workshop brought together experts, industry representatives, and stakeholders to compare notes and share perspectives on the future of U.S. transportation fuels policies A brief description of the event is below, and a copy of the agenda and EPRINC’s recent paper on the RFS can be found at the bottom of this post. Also, the presentations from the event can be found here.
Since the end of WW II, U.S. policies and regulatory programs regarding transportation fuels have addressed central concerns about the safety of production, distribution, and use by consumers, energy security, and the environment. Environmental regulations have largely focused on air quality and more recently, carbon emissions. Automobile manufacturers have had to comply with a variety of increasingly stringent Federal and State requirements to meet reduced tailpipe emissions and improve fuel economy. CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) regulations were enacted in the 1970s to require higher fuel efficiency in motor vehicles. Beginning in 2005 through the passage of the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard), increasing volumes of biofuel blending has been mandated. New regulations are also coming into force to regulate sulfur content in fuels for shipping vessels under international agreements managed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). This EPRINC workshop covers these issues by having four panels, on the following topics: policy challenges facing CAFE regulations, risks and realities of electric and automated vehicles, the future of the RFS and the potential for a grand copromise, and implications of IMO regulations for bunker fuel costs and availability.
Over the course of the last forty years, automobile manufacturers have had to comply with a variety of increasingly stringent Federal and State requirements. CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) regulations were enacted in the 1970s to require higher fuel efficiency in motor vehicles. Beginning in 2005 through the passage of the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) increasing volumes of biofuel blending have been mandated. As both of these sets of regulations have created formidable compliance challenges, there has emerged an opportunity to link the two to bring some convergence to these two important public policy concerns and offer some resolution through requiring higher-octane fuel.
EPRINC’s Lucian Pugliaresi and Max Pyziur have written a report which presents an estimate of the cost of transforming the U.S. gasoline fuel system from one in which about 89 percent of sales can be characterized as “regular” and “midgrade” gasoline into a fuel system that, over time, nearly 100 percent of sales can be characterized as “higher-octane” gasoline. Several methodologies were used to estimate the cost of this transformation, and the merits and demerits of each system for calculating the cost are discussed in the report. The report can be found here.